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Sunday, May 15, 2005
Jazzfest Day 3: Finally
On the way back from Bourbon St. On Friday night, it had begun to sprinkle and was getting windy. They had forecast rain after midnight, but we had no idea.....

The courtyard of our hotel had an acrylic roof on it, and as the rain started to come down, and the winds picked up - the background noise quickly became a dull roar. When I woke up around 7:30 am and glanced outside, the rain was coming down in sheets, horizontally. I happily went back to bed. At 9:00, I finally got up, got showered and went down to grab some breakfast in the lobby with everyone else. The rain was still coming down in sheets, but the forecast insisted it would clear by noon. No sense going out in this weather, so I grabbed the NYT and happily went back to the room to read it and the 2 books I brought. At noon? More rain. At 1:00 - it was starting to clear a little, and we were hungry, so we decided to wander down to the French Quarter, grab some lunch and then head out to Jazzfest around 2:30 or 3:00.

By sheer wandering around, we ended up at a little dive lunchspot / diner called Mena's Palace. This place was great. Chalkboard menu, a sassy waitress who called all of us "babe", and terrific local food. I had an amazing plate of shrimp remoulade and fried green tomatoes with a couple of local Abita beers. Couldn't finish it all.

Just as we were leaving - the sun started to come out - so we headed to Jazzfest.

Despite the amazing amounts of rain, it wasn't nearly as muddy as I would have expected. Since everyone had the same idea, and since this evening's headliners were Dave Matthews Band and Elvis Costello, the crowds were big, in fact, it was the biggest attendance of the whole festival, but perhaps not as big as they might have been. We managed to make our way over to the Sprint Stage to get set up and have a decent view of Elvis Costello.

By this time, it was 3:30 pm and Allen Toussaint (who I love), was playing before Elvis, but I really wanted to run over and hear Madeline Peyroux. The problem was, her stage was on the opposite end of the festival grounds through about 60,000 Dave Mathews fans, and it would have taken me 1/2 hour to get there and back on a muddy track. I decided to stay put and enjoy Allen. I was not disappointed. He did a fabulous show, and clearly proved his metal as a member of the Rock n'Roll Hall of Fame.

I should mention that there was the most wonderful family camped out next to us. A Mother and Father and three kids about 6 - 10 years of age. I have rarely witnessed the kind of love and intimacy in a family that these folks clearly had. The kids were having a ball, and the whole family danced together and had a great time. It was a really lovely thing to see.

Next up - Elvis Costello and the Imposters. What a show!! Costello did very little audience banter at first and just slid from song to song. Appearing loose and energetic, Costello let his band boogie, also dusting off a cover of the Grateful Dead's "Berta." Stacking hits like "Allison" at the end of his show, Costello reserved the first portion of his set for rock-star theatrics, dancing with his axe as he dipped deep into his canon, and teaming up with Jaimie Cullum at the end. Wonderful, wonderful performance. He went into 3 encores and seemed genuinely pleased with the crowd and its reaction.

Since we'd such an enormous late lunch, we headed back to the French Quarter for some later and lighter fare. We ended up back at Jimmy Buffet's bar where a very good singer was doing Buffet covers, and put back a "few" more Abita lagers, had a sandwich and let our hair down. On the way home (sort of), we found a quiet little wine bar on Decatur St. and had a glass or two of wine before finally heading home for real this time.

One more day to go, and the weather promised to be fantastic again.
posted by Broadsheet @ 10:10 AM  
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